Dear Residents, Neighbors and Friends:
We are reaching out to give you an update on where we stand with all things Parks and Recreation for the Town of Lewisboro.
We are still in unprecedented times. We do not know what the new normal is going to look like for our Parks and Recreation Department within our town while we await guidance and instruction from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), our State Government and the Health Departments at both the State and County levels. However, we continue to plan for the future and wait for these governmental entities to release information during this pandemic to guide our actions and offerings.
Our desire to provide recreational opportunities during the spring hasn't been in the cards. The full spring lineup of programs, activities and events have now been canceled. This comprises of all activities listed in our brochure from now until June 30th. If we can recreate something virtual we will advertise it via social media, email blast and our website (www.lewisbororecreation.com). We expect, like you, to be given a clearer picture of what our summer will look like in the coming weeks as NYS on pause comes to an close and hopefully does not need to be extended. However, we know Recreation is in Governor Cuomo's phase four and we haven't officially started phase one yet. We will not hold any registrations for any group programs not on zoom, permits or camps until we know we can safely offer them.
Let's start with the Good News . . .
PARKS AND PRESERVES - Recreational facilities will re-opened shortly and our Parks Staff, Randy and Steven have been working to maintain your recreational spaces during the “Pause”. We will need to ensure this is done right, safely and in phases. Your help in making sure that happens is imperative. We will start with OPENING THE PRESERVES: Brownell, Old Field, Leon Levy and Onatru. We look to RE-OPEN them on Saturday, May 16th, 2020 in a limited capacity.
There will be a limited amount of parking at each preserve and you can find detailed information about that at www.lewisbororecreation.com starting Wednesday, May 13th. Parking will be present only in the lots. There will be no parking on grass, alongside of local roads or State Routes - tickets will be given if you violate this. Preserves will open to residents only. When using the preserves we ask that users maintain social distancing (6 feet) and we are strongly encouraging all visitors to use face masks/coverings, limit touch, wear gloves and use hand sanitizer for their own safety. Some preserves will have directional signs up to make sure that everyone uses the loops in the same direction to avoid passing each other. At this time, there will be no other group gatherings or activities of any kind permitted. We have removed all trash receptacles so please carry in and carry out. Don't forget that your furry family members must be leashed at all times on Town Properties. After we have determined that our preserve policies are working and successful, we will open our park facilities in phases as well as open up the preserves fully for usage. This will be a multi-step process.
Recreation is an important need during these times, and we want to provide it to our friends and neighbors so long as it can be done smartly and safely. What weighs most on us during these decisions is that the majority of our Emergency Services are volunteers and our resources are limited than those of larger communities. We do not want to tax our Emergency Services by acting in haste.
PROGRAMMING - We are brushing up on our Zoom skills to hopefully have some virtual programs for our kids of Lewisboro. Starting with BINGO BASHES from home . . . information on that went out last night and is on our website.
OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED PROGRAMS -
Whether or not the following activities proceed will be determined by our Town Board regardless of the decisions from state and county levels. They were elected to represent our community and were tasked with making the difficult decisions as to whether we can operate safely for both participant and staff as well as if it is financially responsible and feasible to do so.
OUTDOOR BATHROOM FACILITIES - We foresee these facilities as one of the last to open if we can even open them, due to ongoing sanitizing needs and limited staff. SO PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY as we start to open up facilities.
FIREWORKS - Scheduled for Saturday, June 27th have unfortunately been canceled. We will not have group gatherings that large up until at the least the end of June This saddens us but we look to June 26, 2021 in hopes it brings an amazing return to Lewisboro. Our team has figured out a viable patriotic alternative as we did with the Egg Hunt a few short weeks ago. More information will follow in a couple of weeks advertising our fun, beneficial, social distancing substitute . . .
CAMP - Reed continues to work hard helping with communications in town and developing programming for the camp season. If we can provide a camp experience for your child this summer safely we will try to but please be advised that it will probably not be the camp that you are used to. However, we are waiting to see if there will be any guidelines from the State Health Department (NYSHD), the County Health Department (WCHD) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). As of right now our Teen Treks Travel Camp has been CANCELED and we are in the process of refunding fees. We know that we cannot provide this opportunity safely for the campers as well as the staff who travel to local amusements daily. And it is nearly impossible at this time to know if and when these amusement businesses will be up and operating or closing their doors indefinitely. As we are holding out some hope for Little Explorers and Main Event Day Camp for this year, we are encourage parents to seek alternatives for their children if you need definite child care over the summer months AND we have told our staff the same information. Hint - there might be many high school and college age kids available to be caregivers over the summer if we can not operate.
POOL - Michael, when not planning some upcoming zoom activities and taking care of delivering masks to the seniors, has been planning the anticipated much different upcoming pool season. We are sad to report we will NOT open for Memorial Day Weekend this year but hoping to get some season out of the summer (fingers crossed by July 4th). Again we are looking at what NYSHD, WCHD and CDC guidelines will be and their recommendations to keep all of us a safe as possible, including our staff that will need to be able to make rescues safely and confidently and have received the proper training in the process. Our pool season will not be what we are used to. If we can make it happen this year, it might include limiting numbers of users of the complex, closing the interactive pool for the summer, everyone might need to BYO chair, etc. Again, we don't know exactly what it will look like but all have been discussed and, as with all major decisions, we are waiting for more directives.
SENIORS - Pam continues to be sole contact person for our homebound and elderly neighbors. She is delivering meals on wheels, cards of cheer that many of you have sent in and doing all she can to make sure our most vulnerable gets through this crisis. Senior trips and meetings have been canceled the foreseeable future. We ask you, as neighbors, to continue to check in on your older neighbors. Please bring anyone to our attention (including yourself) who might benefit from meals on wheels services or obtaining a face mask/gloves set or who might be alone and need some reassurances because we have started a weekly check-in program. All you need to do to take advantage of any of these offerings is to email our department at Parks@lewisborogov.com or call our office at (914) 232-6162 with your neighbor's name and phone number - you can remain anonymous.
TENNIS - There is a glitter of hope here - this week we have received some guidance on how to open the outdoor tennis facilities so as soon as we can open the parks safely and get our courts up to snuff - playing tennis within families and singles should be close behind. Including offering private and semi private lessons through the town.
ADULT SOFTBALL - We have canceled our normal spring/summer season of adult softball. If organized sports returns in 2020 - we will attempt to run a weekend tournament and/or a fall season only if we can assure everyone's safety.
PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES - SPORTS, ARTS, ENRICHMENT - Our instructors are itching to get back to work sharing their passions with you, your families and the youth of Lewisboro from art classes to sports clinics, everyone involved is committed to see what we can offer going forward via online classes (ie – zoom), moving
the seasons out (ie – offer tball late summer), shortening class schedules (ie offering 3 to 4 weeks rather than 8 weeks) basically doing what we can to make Recreation happen again for you and your families and we will continue to let you know our status as we move into the re-opening steps.
Your Lewisboro Parks and Recreation department remains operational during the COVID-19 pandemic, working remotely for the most part. Feel free to call us (914) 232-6162 or email us at Parks@lewisborogov.com with any questions, suggestions or concerns and Laura will direct your inquiry to the appropriate person who will get back to you. Follow us on Facebook at Lewisboro Parks and Recreation Department.
We continue the plea of our elected officials and ask everyone to practice safe and responsible recreating and follow all local, state and federal guidelines for recreation and social distancing as we start to reopen things. Only you can keep yourself safe. Let us move forward!
We are all in this together and miss you terribly,
The Lewisboro Parks and Recreation Family
Randy, Laura, Pam, Reed, Michael, Steven and Dana